Showing posts from November, 2011

Nature and Human Settlements - Part II

(Continued from the preceding post.)
Much has been accomplished since The Granite Garden was written. For example, in 1990 Black Rose published David Gordon’s book Green Cities dealing with ecologically sound approaches to the use and management of urban space.In 1994 Platt, Rowntree, and others published a book titled The Ecological City focusing on preserving and restoring urban biodiversity.In 2001 Richard Register, with the urban ecology group in the Berkeley/Oakland area of California and leader in the Ecocities movement, published Ecocities: Building Cities in Balance with Nature, and then, in 2006, revised it and reissued it as Ecocities: REbuilding Cities in Balance with Nature.
From all of this theory and professional practice has developed an evolving movement that is making inroads, some small, and some very large, into the ‘greening’ of human settlements.Early on, the American Forestry Society turned its attention to urban forest cover and developed guidelines for the refore…

Nature and Human Settlements Part I

During the latter part of the 1990's I had the opportunity to work on a number of projects intended to restore some environmental health to the built towns, cities, and other concentrations of humanity. This was especially rewarding work. I also had the opportunity to reflect on the 'greening effort' of human settlements in presentations and publications.Nature and Human Settlements is the title of one of those reflections.

Nature and Human Settlements - Part I
The year 2007 was a special year, a landmark year in human history. This was not the year during which war was abolished. This was also not the year when hunger and crushing poverty were vanquished, more’s the pity. No, 2007 was the year of Urban Humanity.This was the year when over half of humanity came to live in what we call urban settlements. Well over three and a quarter billion people came reside in the cities, towns of Earth.
One would think that after all of these centuries…millennia, in fact…i…

The Heart of the Journey

Conservation Biology
If there is one theme that runs through most of my professional and personal life it is the protection of plants and animals and the habitats that support them. We increasingly use the term Conservation Biology to describe such work.  Conservation Biology is one of those integrative terms that can describe what is often an interdisciplinary effort to protect biological diversity. There is no question that humanity is primarily responsible for placing life on Earth on the raw edge of what may be the greatest extinction of species ever to happen.  
Although I'm not an organization man, I did most of my biodiversity protection and enhancement work while employed or engaged by two federal agencies, one state agency, and a university. Prior to the 1980's I published extensively of natural history subjects for the popular press. Although that work continues to a lesser extent today, in the early 1980's I began to publish in the scientific literature (search f…